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Timing is everything in new nanotechnology for medicine, security and research
Date:12/16/2013

gs,' we have the ability to screen for many targets at once, and only one small volume of sample will be needed to glean a vast amount of information in a very short amount of time."

The nanocrystals are tiny clusters of sodium, yttrium and fluoride ions with added trace amounts of ions of ytterbium and the blue-emitting rare earth element thulium. The ytterbium ion serves as a trigger to the reaction that controls the thulium fluorescence, and the researchers controlled the length of time this light is emitted by varying the distance between the two.

When a laser strikes a nanocrystal it triggers a reaction that leads to the emission of a photon at a visible wavelength, or a burst of visible light.

The τ-Dots also could be used to create invisible and nearly impossible to forge marks on documents, items or currency as an anti-counterfeit measure, said Yiqing Lu, a senior Macquarie University Research Fellow in Photonics.

"By applying τ-Dots to any surface, we can leave a secret message or mark on any product, which will only be revealed by a specially designed scanner," Lu said. "This has huge potential in confirming the authenticity of any product, from pharmaceutical drugs to medical courier supplies."

The research team at Macquarie is investigating this application as well as the ability to layer the τ-Dots to create higher density data storage, he said.


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Contact: Elizabeth Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

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